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  1. #1
    flashbunny.org Stevet04II's Avatar
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    Counting Calories To Lose Weight.

    Hi, Its me again. As alot of you already know Im sort of a beginner. After a 10 year lay off from my bike. I began riding again (Jan 12 2004) for health reasons. I began by riding laps around an open field. Now Im riding 5 miles a day 3-4 days a week. Pretty good progress IMHO. But my question is....
    When I began riding again I Weighed 210lbs @ (5'6 in height) I dropped weight quick. I went from 210 to 195 in less than 2-3 weeks. Now Im gaining the weight back. Would counting calories help? I have to eat what everybody else in the house is eating, so I have a problem here. I would like to get my weight down to 185lbs so I figure if I could eat 2775 calories a day I could reach my goal with out starving. I know that I have to watch the fat intake also. Ill have to get around that one maybe at work and away from the family. My family likes to EAT junk foods and fatty foods. I want to get away from the Junk food and fats without causing a problem with the family. Any suggestions?
    Stevet04II
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    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    that is quite a bit of incoming calories... you should try getting down below 2000 calories for the day...

    another thing you may want to take a look at is the South Beach Diet.. my wife and I have been doing it... it's not low-carb, low-fat or any of that... just good sensible eating... I've lost about 12 lbs. and my wife has lost nearly 20 (she has more to lose than I, I'm pretty much where I need to be)... you have to break the chain of bad eating within your family...

    I have been there.. my family growing up was the same way.. still are, for the most part...

    jeff
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  3. #3
    SSP
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    I think counting calories is difficult, and not as useful as it appears on the surface. For instance, if I consumed 2500 calories on Friday, and 3500 calories on Saturday, what does that mean with regards to weight loss? If I sat at my desk for 10 hours on Friday, and rode my bike for 4 hours on Saturday, it probably means I lost more weight on Saturday.

    Do you have a digital scale? If not, I recommend getting one that weighs to 1/10 lb, and weigh yourself each morning right after you get up. Recent studies have indicated that folks who weigh themselves frequently are more successful at losing weight, and keeping it off.

    A reasonable weight loss goal would be 1 lb per week. To achieve this, you only need a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day. To achieve this, you can eat less, or exercise more, or both (preferably).

    Also, early in fitness training you might find yourself gaining weight. This happens because you are building muscle mass (which weighs more than fat). It's not a bad thing, but something to be aware of. Some scales will estimate your body fat, but they're not terribly accurate. Alternatively, you can simply look at yourself in a mirror (sans clothing), or with a tape measure you can estimate your body fat percentage using the US Navy Circumference Method.

    You might want to speak to your family about their eating habits, and what kinds of food you keep in your home. Losing weight can be challenging, especially when you are surrounded by unhealthy foods and habits (sort of like a smoker trying to quit when their spouse still smokes).

    Best of luck, and don't give up!
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    flashbunny.org Stevet04II's Avatar
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    Yeah I want gain muscle and lose fat. I was told to cut cals slowly not too much at a time. I was told that cutting down to 2000 cals is way to low for me. And cutting my calorie that low will give me the sick look.
    Thanks for the info.
    Stevet04II
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    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevet04II
    Yeah I want gain muscle and lose fat. I was told to cut cals slowly not too much at a time. I was told that cutting down to 2000 cals is way to low for me. And cutting my calorie that low will give me the sick look.
    Thanks for the info.

    how many calories are you consuming now ? in general, basic guidelines should be about 2000 calories per day... now this can differ from person to person, but that is an avg. amount... unless you are gorging on 4000 calories a day, dropping to at least 2000 isn't gonna give you that "sick look"


    jeff
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    flashbunny.org Stevet04II's Avatar
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    About 3000 cals I assume.
    Stevet04II
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    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevet04II
    When I began riding again I Weighed 210lbs @ (5'6 in height) I dropped weight quick. I went from 210 to 195 in less than 2-3 weeks. Now Im gaining the weight back. Would counting calories help?
    Have you determined how many calories you are ACTUALLY consuming each day and have you determined how many calories you are burning while cycling and any other activities.
    This calculator was in another T&N thread and I've found it somewhat useful.

    http://exercise.about.com/cs/fitness...alorieburn.htm

    My suggestion is to increase your daily mileage. If your average speed is "slow" you will burn more calories by increasing your speed.


    FYI: I'm 59 and 6' tall. When I started cycling 4 years ago I weighed about 230. Like you I rode 5 or 6 miles a day and had slow progress. I finally realized that I would have to tough it out and ride farther and harder to get the weight down.
    Over several weeks I increased my miles to 22. The weight loss was faster and the muscles got bigger.
    Last summer I increased my daily miles from 20 to 37 and added lots of hills. I was able to drop 20 pounds in less than 3 months with no change to my eating habits and I wasn't starving.
    Good luck.
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  8. #8
    SSP
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    Steve - you might also want to look at this page: http://www.weight-loss-i.com/calorie...s-benedict.htm. It shows you how to calculate your "basal metabolic rate", which is the estimated number of calories to maintain your current weight.

    3000 calories per day is pretty high, unless you're a serious athlete or have a physically demanding job. If you're not losing weight on 3000 calories per day, cut it back. You most definitely won't starve on 2000 calories per day, although it might take some time for you to adapt to it without feeling deprived.

    When you eat, think about "portion control". Most folks don't realize that standard portion sizes are pretty small. For instance, a standard portion of protein (chicken, fish, beef) is about the size of a deck of cards. Compare that to what we actually eat, especially when we eat out, and you can see why America is becoming "super-sized".
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    I am just going to make a couple of general comments on eating. I would not say that I am overweight (170 on a 5'10" frame), but I'd like to drop a few pounds. I started looking at both the serving sizes and the calories of what I ate and I was amazed at what I was taking in on a daily basis. I am fresh out of college and I can tell you if you want bad eating habits, go to college.

    As I said, I was quiet disturbed with the number of calories I was taking in and I knew I was not offsetting them with exercise. So I signed up for the gym at work and after 3 weeks I haven't lost a pound.

    However, (this is the important part) I feel so much better and I think my clothes fit better. I have dropped a lot of things out of my diet (pop, cookies, candy) simply because I it grosses me out somewhat to suck down all those worthless calories.

    I grew up in a household where having a can of coke was like Christmas morning. Now I see my in-laws giving their 4 year old 2 cans a day. That can't be good for the boy can it? My point is make your family aware of what you are trying to do and ask for their help. Breaking habits is hard (What I wouldn't give for a Dr. Pepper right now), but you'll be better off in the end.

  10. #10
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    wow... 3000 cal/day seems like a really high estimate. from the research that i've done and the averages i've seen, 3000 cal/day is only normal for a man that has HIGH activity. that means LOTS of muscle mass and some real aerobic activity everyday. if you're a normal person, somewhere around 2500 cal/day might be more acurate. a little more or less depending on you and your activity level.

    as far as counting cals, i've found it extremely helpful in my weight loss. i really feel that i'm in control of my eating, because i know exactly what i'm consuming. the only true way to lose weight is by creating a cal deficit... so burn more than you eat! how do you know if you're doing this unless you count?

    expect really slow results, though (after that initial loss from adding exercise). the weight watchers program (based entirely on nutritional cal counting) has you cut your cal intake to around 1200-1500 cal and only says to expect a loss of 1-1.5 lbs/week. you'll have to see what works for you, though, and don't forget proper nutrition.

    i'm 6', was 205 lbs. and want to get down to 180-185 (maybe less... we'll see when we get there). i've limited my daily intake to 1500 cal, and i've been biking between 100-130 miles/week. in 8 weeks, i've lost a whopping 7 lbs. ouch... now that's probably because i've built some muscle mass, but still, really slow results... on the other hand, it's working!

    good luck! count those cals and watch the weight slowly disappear!

  11. #11
    Slow and unsteady
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    Using caloric-need formulas like the one in SSP's post, it appears most adults need about 1200-2000 calories a day just to keep the body warm. This doesn't even allow for any movement, just metabolic needs.

    I've used these types of calculators to determine I need about 2800-3200 calories just to maintain my weight and activitiy level. But I weigh too much, so I'm trying 2500 calories a day. So far I've lost 10 lbs in 53 days, or about 1.3 pounds a week. This is while I'm walking 2-3 miles a day and riding about 90-100 miles a week. I also lift weights a little, but that burns very few calories.

    It's hard to stick to 2500 calories on days when I ride 35-50 miles, especially in cold weather. On those days I allow myself to go over 3000, but I find my weight loss slows down. On the other hand, I don't wish to go into a serious deficit on one day. I'm aiming for a 500 calorie a day deficit, so compensating for high actvitiy days seems sensible. Otherwise 2500 calories seems fine for average days (about 12.5 miles of riding and 3 miles of walking).

    I've tried getting by on 2000 calories and find it hard to remain active, which is counterproductive.

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    The National Weight Control Registry is an 8 year old project that has studied weight loss in 3500 extremely obese patients who lost (and maintained the loss) of an average of 60+ pounds. The common factor?? A high level of physical activity with an average weekly expenditure of 2545 exercise Calories in women and 3293 Calories in men (equal to an hour of moderate physical activity per day) coupled with an estimated intake of 1500 Calories per day. These Calories were eaten in 4 or 5 small meals throughout the day rather than skimping on breakfast and lunch and then eating a much larger meal at night. And it was a low fat diet with 23% of total Calories coming from fat. Most had failed to maintain their weight loss with other weight loss regimens, and almost universally attributed the success in this program to the sustained increase in their weekly level of physical activity.
    That is from the cptips.com site. I find it somewhat interesting. I also agree that 3000 Calories a day seems high. Given:

    23% of their Calories for physical activity
    10% of their daily Calories for the thermic effect
    67% of their Calories for the BMR
    Again this is based on averages done with normal activity (mowing the lawn etc). Given those numbers you would be burning almost 700 Calories a day. Just seems like alot to me.

  13. #13
    flashbunny.org Stevet04II's Avatar
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    Ok Thanks for the info. I have a nephew which is into bodybuilding and he told me to just cut my calories by 300. So Ill be taking in 2700 to reach my goal of 180lbs. Im very active at work and at play. My problem is wrong food and to much of it.

    Right now Im burning about 270+ calories during my bike rides

    Yep, There's a formula Multiply weight by 15 to maintain desired bodyweight. Ill give this a try. example (200 x 15 = 3000 cals) (my goal 180 x 15 = 2700 cals)
    I would like some weight due to my Martial Arts Hobbies. Some weight matters.

    Theres now way that I could ride 20 miles a day. I just dont have time to spare. I may can ride 10 miles in an hour or so if my body will allow me.
    Stevet04II
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevet04II
    My family likes to EAT junk foods and fatty foods. I want to get away from the Junk food and fats without causing a problem with the family. Any suggestions?
    Therein lies the problem. You see your family has a problem already. They are eating a diet which will doom them to a lifetime of health problems and possibly early death. You may as well help them get on the boat early because obesity is going to be the next "smoking." CBS News just reported tonight that Obesity is going to soon catch smoking as the leading cause of death in this country. Obesity killed 400,000 last year compared to 435,000 smoking deaths.

    THere is going to be a huge push to get people to change their ways. You see you need to make your family adapt to you. Not vice versa.

    Trust me, I have gotten my fair shair of resistance and have been made fun of plenty by family members. It is amazing that I am viewed as unhealthy because i don't have a bulge over my belt or a fat face.

    I have eaten nothing but low fat since Feb 2003. I am 6'2 and 152 lbs. I was formerly around 200 and inactive. Now I ride nearly everyday and have competely turned things around. My wife actually introduced me to low fat living.

    She introduced me the day i started dating her 9 years ago. She has been on that diet ever since. I used to get aggravated by it and try and make her change. I have never seen her eat fast food in that time. NEVER! I haven't been in a McDonalds nor any other fast food joint for well over a year. I don't miss it either.

    THe low fat diet is so easy because you only have to deal in double figures. OUr rule is simple. Keep the Total Fat low. We have no hardfast rule but generally if it is in double figures i don't eat it, nor do we buy it at the store. We still order Pizza once per week although we order Chicken instead of beef. THat is our one "treat."

    Most people have no idea how much FAT is in most all fast food. I don't eat as much fat in a day as one typical meal McDonalds meal contains. Do that for 380 days or so and the pounds fall off. They don't fall of fast. You will probably lose about a lb per week like i did. THe nice thing is that you still get to eat. You even get to eat a lot. I started eating a lot more CANDY than i used to. Candy that has low fat that is.
    Last edited by Portis; 03-09-04 at 04:52 PM.

  15. #15
    flashbunny.org Stevet04II's Avatar
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    Ok Thanks.
    Stevet04II
    John 1:12, 5:24
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcm44
    I find it somewhat interesting. I also agree that 3000 Calories a day seems high.
    Well, I weigh about 200, I'm 5'8" and 46 years old. I used the Harris-Benedict Formula listed above and came up with 1860 calories to cover BMR and about 2800-3200 to cover a moderately active lifestyle. When I consume 2500 calories a day, I lose about a pound a week. If I eat 3000 a day, I maintain. I ride about 90-100 miles a week, walk probably 15 miles a week. I am not heavily muscled at all. The exercise calorie calculator someone else posted would indicate that between my walking and cycling I'm burning about 950 calories a day. I think that's probably an overestimate. Probably closer to 700. And don't forget that doing anything more active than sleeping burns more calories than the BMR covers.

    The link to the Harris-Benedict Formula says it works for all but the very muscular or the very fat. I think I fit into that category.

    I wouldn't put myself on a 1500 calorie a day diet when I can lose at the desired rate of 1lb a week while consuming 2500 calories.

    As I lose weight I'll need to reduce my calories a little bit at a time to maintain a loss rate of 1lb/week. If the formula is correct I would need about 2400-2500 calories at 150lbs of bodyweight to be "moderately active."

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    You sound on the right track with the numbers as larger calorie deficits work better for those with more weight to lose.But use the numbers as a starting point and make modest adjustments if necessary until you find what actually works for you.
    As for the family that is a tougher problem.You might make an effort to educate them about better eating habits but don't push it and respect their right to eat as they want if they don't want to change.But at the same time stand up for your right to eat as you want.I would work with your mother or whoever buys/prepares the food to buy you some healthier snacks rather than junk and to prepare your food without the heavy sauces/gravies and broiled/steamed rather than deepfried etc.This way you can share the same basic meals with your family and who knows perhaps they will see positive changes in you and start to want to change themselves.But don't confront them over their bad habits or they will just get angry which will make it more difficult for you to work with them to get what you want for yourself.

  18. #18
    flashbunny.org Stevet04II's Avatar
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    RWTD, Thanks for the info.
    Stevet04II
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  19. #19
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    go to www.fitday.com to structure your diet and activity level.

    i would be more concerned with changing your body shape rather than your weight per se. the weight loss you described is water weight. increased activity levels leads to increased fluid intake which leads to your body releasing more fluid.

    this is a lifelong change of attitude and lifestyle here, so enjoy it.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

  20. #20
    flashbunny.org Stevet04II's Avatar
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    RiPH, Im working on that. I work out with weights and other strength training exercises.
    Stevet04II
    John 1:12, 5:24
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  21. #21
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    Here's a handy site for calorie counting:

    http://www.caloriesperhour.com/index_burn.html

  22. #22
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    yeah, and as long as there is an overall calorie deficit at the end of each day then you're good. you wouldn't drive 'cross country on an empty tank of gas --> and you shouldn't attempt to exercise with no fuel either. a couple of hundred calories cut here....a couple of hundred more calories burned there....and you've got a 400-500 calorie deficit with little concern.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

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    My .02 is that counting is the easy part, actually having healthy food available when you need to eat it is alot tougher. Unfortunatly our sociaty isn't geared to easy healthy eating and your family's situation is only going to make it tougher. I've used the Subway approach. I can roll-through, pick up a 12" sub, it's substancial, and still be under 600 calories.

  24. #24
    flashbunny.org Stevet04II's Avatar
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    My plan is working. My buddy told me to watch for 1-2lbs weight loss a week. My weight was 200lbs I am now 198lbs its been 5 days since I started counting cals. I bought a few of my own grocerys this week a few veggies and a few fat free products. To tell the truth. 2700 cals of low fat and fat free foods is alot of eating. I cant eat that much. I may have to cut my cals down to about 2000-2200 cals a day.
    Stevet04II
    John 1:12, 5:24
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  25. #25
    World Relay Tour Member TwinTraveller's Avatar
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    If your main purpose for cycling is weight reduction, you may want to get a heartrate monitor in order to ensure that you're exercising in the right range of heart beat per minute.

    From what I've read, for weight reduction, this is ideally between 60% & 70% of your HRmax (maximum heartrate).

    In addition, a lot of heartrate monitors offer a feautre for estimating the number of calories which you've burnt.

    Cheers,
    TT

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